Category Archives: The Language of Science: Why most scientists don’t speak it

Posts on the vital importance of mathematics in the sciences, the serious problems caused by poor approaches teaching math from pre-college through graduate school, and what can be done.

Part II: When your basic research design is flawed, use inferior statistical analyses to make things worse

Part I of Part II: Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST) A number of statistical tests, models, and methods aren’t really distinct from research designs. The most frequently used research design across the sciences involves: 1) Formulating a “testable” hypothesis (e.g., … Continue reading

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Do researchers understand their own explanations?

Have you ever been asked to fill out a survey that included some statement (e.g., “I experience back pain”, “I have difficulty concentrating”, “I write blogs nobody in their right mind would read”, etc.) and an “ordered” set of responses … Continue reading

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Hypothesis Testing: Why buy the book when you can watch the movie?

My last post was a recommendation for a book. For the tiny minority of the vast population of those who follow this blog, I am providing another, easier source to understand a statistical methodology used in medicine, psychology, sociology, anthropology, … Continue reading

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The Cult of Statistical Significance: Reader Recommended in Research Review’s Review

I have occasionally reviewed research here (shocking, I know, given this blog’s title), but seldom recommended anybody actually buy any. All that is about to change in this edge-of-your-seat suspenseful thriller story of love, lost, and learning (without the first … Continue reading

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What are graduate statistics and research methods courses teaching?

Boston College is a great university. So why do we find the graduate level multivariate statistics course Sociology 703 using, as “the” required text , the textbook Statistics and Data Analysis for Nursing Research? Because sociologists are so akin to … Continue reading

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How Hypothesis Testing Doesn’t Test Hypotheses

We all know that in science a hypothesis is…nothing like what most people understand. In computational sciences, machine learning, etc., one develops an algorithm to test a thousand or more hypotheses to get a program to recognize the letter “a” … Continue reading

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Research: Systematic misuse of statistics in the sciences

Mathematics is the language of the sciences. 1 It is a tool essential to research across all fields and is intricately bound to modern physics that in some fields (e.g., quantum mechanics) it is difficult to separate the mathematical framework … Continue reading

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